Self-confessed Indian spy awarded death sentence

Published: April 10, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Indian spy Kulbushan Jadhav – who was caught from Balochistan last year and who has confessed to fomenting terrorism in Pakistan – has been awarded the death penalty in an unprecedented decision that immediately sparked a bitter diplomatic spat between the two hostile neighbours.

“The spy [Kulbushan Jadhav] has been tried through the Field General Court Martial (FGCM) under the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) and awarded the death sentence,” the military announced on Monday through a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).

“Today, the COAS [chief of army staff] Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa confirmed the death sentence awarded by [the] FGCM,” the military’s media wing added.

Identified as Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agent had been operating in Pakistan disguised as Hussein Mubarak Patel and was tried on charges of espionage and sabotage activities in Pakistan.

Kulbhushan Jadhav will not be extradited, Sartaj assures lawmakers

Jadhav was arrested on March 3 last year during a counter-intelligence operation from the Mashkel area of Balochistan. A few weeks later, the army had released his recorded confessional statement in which he had admitted to have been working for RAW to stoke unrest and instability in Pakistan.

In a six-minute video shown on the national media, Jadhav confessed that he had been tasked with creating unrest in Balochistan and Karachi, to which he had apparently made several visits under a fake identity since 2003. India denies Jadhav was a RAW agent but admits that he was a retired naval officer.

According to the ISPR, Jadhav has also confessed before a magistrate and the court that he was tasked by RAW to plan, coordinate and organise espionage and sabotage activities aiming to destabilise and wage war against Pakistan by impeding the efforts for restoring peace in Balochistan and Karachi.

Pakistan may not give India consular access to RAW officer

“He was tried under Section 59 of the Pakistan Army Act (PAA) 1952 and Section 3 of the Official Secret Act of 1923. The FGCM found Kulbushan Sudhir Jadhav guilty of all the charges. The accused was provided with a defending officer as per legal provisions,” the ISPR said.

Under the Pakistan Army Act, Jadhav can file an appeal against the decision before the applet court that will be headed by a major general. If the death sentence is upheld by the applet court, he can still file a mercy petition before the army chief and the president of Pakistan.

While majority in Pakistan endorsed the death sentence, the reaction from India was swift and angry.

Just hours after the military’s announcement, Pakistan’s High Commissioner Abdul Basit was summoned by the Indian foreign secretary and was issued a demarche, calling Jadhav’s trial ‘farcical.’

“The proceedings that have led to the sentence against Shri Jadhav [Jadhav] are farcical in the absence of any credible evidence against him. It is significant that our High Commission was not even informed that Shri Jadhav [Jadhav] was being brought to trial,” said India’s Ministry of External Affairs.

Army chief vows to pursue Kulbhushan case to finish

The strongly-worded demarche further said that if due course of law was not observed in the case, India would regard Jadhav’s execution as murder in the first degree. “If this sentence against an Indian citizen, awarded without observing basic norms of law and justice, is carried out, the government and people of India will regard it as a case of premeditated murder,” it said.

The Pakistani envoy, however, strongly rejected India’s protest defending the death sentence.

Basit reportedly told the Indian foreign secretary that “on the one hand you perpetrate terrorism in Pakistan and record protest against us on the other. We have not done anything wrong. A terrorist must be punished,” Basit further said.

Pakistan considered the arrest of Jadhav as a living proof of Indian state agencies’ involvement in creating unrest in the country. Islamabad also submitted dossiers to the United Nations containing evidence of India’s involvement in terrorism based on Jadhav’s activities.

Tehran probing whether Jadhav crossed border illegally

Security officials claimed that based on the information extracted from Jadhav, a major crackdown was also launched against the RAW network in Pakistan.

Pakistan and India have detained each other’s nationals on charges of espionage in the past but this is the first time in the chequered history of Indo-Pak relations that any serving military official was arrested and handed down the capital punishment for spying.

Defence analysts and former diplomats said the decision to sentence a RAW agent would send a clear message to India that Pakistan would not accept state-sponsored terrorism from the neighbouring country.

Many here believe that Jadhav was working under India’s ‘offensive defence’ doctrine authored by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval. The doctrine envisaged exploiting Pakistan’s internal weakness while at the same time backing militant groups to foment violence in the country.

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In his confessional statement, Jadhav had admitted that he was working directly under the RAW chief, further vindicating Pakistan’s stance of India’s involvement in subversive activities. The development came at a time when relations between Pakistan and India are at their lowest and is likely to further flare up the temperatures.

Anti-Pakistan elements not to be spared: Asif

Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said Jadhav has been awarded the death sentence according to law.   “The sentencing of the Indian spy is a warning for all forces that are conspiring against Pakistan. The law will take its course if anyone poses a threat to the security and integrity of Pakistan,” he said in an interview on Monday.

He said the Indian government was behind Jadhav’s activities.

Asif dismissed the Indian government’s protest, saying that “Jadhav was involved in carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan and all legal formalities had been met during his trial”.

He said India has been committing premeditated murder of innocent Kashmiris for the last seven decades. He said New Delhi’s stubbornness was the biggest hindrance in improving relationship between the two countries.

State-sponsored terrorism: Case of detained Indian spy taken up with UN

“India is in the habit of leveling baseless and unfounded allegations against Pakistan. India has not fulfilled its legal and moral obligations in bringing perpetrators of the Samjhauta Express blasts and massacre of minorities, especially of Muslims, in Gujarat to justice,” he added.

Speaking to host of Express News show  Kal Tak, he said Jadhav has the right of one appeal in the army setup after which he can file a mercy petition.

“I think, it will take some time. I think it is a process of two to three months. He has sixty days to file an appeal against this punishment,” he added.

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Reader Comments (60)

  • Qami Baloch
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:33PM

    Good DecisionRecommend

  • fahad
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:34PM

    Thumbs up. Recommend

  • Arti
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:43PM

    Fake JusticeRecommend

  • salman
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:43PM

    Good stepRecommend

  • Paki01
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:51PM


  • syed ahmed
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:58PM

    Unfortunately it no one wins war..Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 10, 2017 - 2:59PM

    India must stop sending her terrorist to Pakistan.Recommend

  • ADIL
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:07PM

    And, what about the fate of Prime Minister in Dawn Leaks case. Justice should seem to be done. We hope to see the justice with traitors of this country.Recommend

  • k
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:07PM

    Try him in Court, share evidence with india & globally(if you have).
    This will lead to serious consequences. irreversible pathRecommend

  • Vineeth
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:29PM

    It is evident that Pakistan resorted to military courts to prosecute Jadhav as they didn’t have any evidences to back up the allegation, as Sartaj Aziz himself admitted. All they had was a confession. Everyone knows that a prisoner can be made to confess on anything under sky using threats or torture. That is why civilian courts always look for evidences rather than mere confessions. Now what could Pakistan do? Military courts. They never ask for evidences, they are their own law. Come on, even Ajmal Kasab had the luxury of a lengthy trial in civilian courts with adequate legal representation.Recommend

  • Shakil
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:32PM

    Law should prevail!Recommend

  • PrakashG
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:35PM

    Kasab was caught red-handed in the act of murdering people. What evidence is there against Yadav other than a confession-in-captivity?Recommend

  • Republic
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:48PM

    Tit for Tat.Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 10, 2017 - 3:58PM

    Well you owned this man and asked for consular access, and Ajmal Kasab was actually tortured to confess that he was a Pakistani but we never accepted it. No where in Pakistan people have an accent like Ajmal Kasab had, he was an Indian. You guys should stop sending terrorists to Pakistan but then again you have made a person PM of your country who is a butcher. Recommend

  • London Banker
    Apr 10, 2017 - 4:30PM

    Well done.Recommend

  • Monis
    Apr 10, 2017 - 4:36PM

    Pakistan should give this gift to India on 15th August. Recommend

  • Zaffar Ali
    Apr 10, 2017 - 5:23PM

    With that being done! Its a great step forward for Pakistan’s solidarity! But I am afraid that a terrorist activity from India is highly inevitable because when such proceedings happen India always answers back by attacking Pakistan soft targets.Recommend

  • Hidden truth
    Apr 10, 2017 - 5:32PM

    Of course we are not going to serve him biryanis or let him go from jail like Surjeet Singh! Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 6:10PM

    @k: ; Like you did in camera the Kassab case ??? Did not allow any team of lawyers or his so called relatives even to see him, leave aside speak with him; Yeah Right; If its you Hindus-tanis its Okay, Right ???? Consequences ?? You have set the trend and now having loose motions; you cannot do diddly squat; Just keep talking and talking; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 6:11PM

    @Asad: Catch them Hindus-tani agents and spies and kill them; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 6:14PM

    @Vineeth: ; Yeah like you Hindus-tanis RAW caught some Nepali Kassab in Nepal 2 years before 2611… kept him in RAW jail, showed him walking around with AK47, not firing at all; tried him in private court in camera; did not allow anyone to meet him, including any lawyers and relatives; only RAW appointed lawyer; .. It is time to look inwards; before you vomit; Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 6:21PM

    @PrakashG: Kassab was a Nepali apprehended in Nepal by RAW, 2 years before 2611 and was kept in RAW jail only came out on day of 2611; He was shown walking around only with AK-47 not even firing or killing anyone; He was falsely branded a Pakis-tani, but if you see his video him injured lying on hospital bed, interviewed by Hindus-tani Police Chief, he says, Bhagwan, mujhey maaf karo; Wow, a Hindus-tani declared jihadist saying Bhagwan, please forgive me ??? Also, he signed confession doc in Hindi; WHAT ??? No Pakistani knows a word of Hindi alphabet; What a joke ..; Even doing false flag, you Hindus-tanis cannot plan it properly; Recommend

  • Maj gaurav arya
    Apr 10, 2017 - 7:06PM

    What i find interesting is that suddenly our indian friends in comments section sound worried about the relations of two countries.

    In all previous stories of Dawn ,they re mostly like who cares about pak or we dont want to talk or look at our gdp or hail modi ji etc etc

    It certainly proves one thing i.e
    India must always be dealt with an aggressive approachRecommend

  • Billoo
    Apr 10, 2017 - 7:51PM

    He should be hanged in public for so many innocent people murders he committed in acts of sabotage in Balochistan. He should be made an example so that no one from India would dare to come again on an another spying and sabotage mission.Recommend

  • Ameer Qaisrani
    Apr 10, 2017 - 8:06PM

    Good decision… Pakistan Army Zindabad
    Now please punish the Dawn News Leaks culprits and do a proper operation in Punjab.Recommend

  • masoom
    Apr 10, 2017 - 8:22PM

    he was spy as evident by India first they refuse to accept him their citizen and later on accepted and said he is retired navy person ! Recommend

  • Hamza Khan
    Apr 10, 2017 - 8:32PM

    It is very unfortunate that Iran has has allowed Indian agents to operate near the border with Pakistan. The Indian claims that Kulbhushan Yadhav was abducted from Iran is laughable. The Indian terrorist was arrested red handed and his confession are proof of culpability of Indian terrorism in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Abro
    Apr 10, 2017 - 8:38PM

    All terrorists idiots or assghans should be hanged publicly.Recommend

  • Abrar R
    Apr 10, 2017 - 8:46PM

    The bloke in his confessional video admits to have killed Pakistanis. What more evidence is required? Pardoning him would only give confidence to other agents in the country. I feel for the guy coz he coperated. But it was a risky game he was playing. Maybe he confessed of his role in the APS massacre. Death sentence is fitting. Commiserations to his family. Recommend

  • masoom
    Apr 10, 2017 - 9:19PM

    Both countries should not interfere in each other especially India should not try to become police man of the region and should focus on regional cooperation for poverty alleviation ! Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 10, 2017 - 9:44PM

    Kasab was Indian, just listen to his accent. India staged that drame like it did in Uri.Recommend

  • Jay
    Apr 10, 2017 - 9:59PM

    @Asad: is it not enough that he was penetrated to Pakistan under Muslim name (Ahmed Patel) ? India always thump their chest as victim of terrorism bet never introspect in their heinous act of destabilizing other sovereign states like Nepal /Srilanka etc.Recommend

  • OSD
    Apr 10, 2017 - 11:16PM

    The sentence must be carried out, or else Pakistan will face a thousand more emboldened Kulbhushan Jhadav’s.Recommend

  • ab
    Apr 10, 2017 - 11:18PM

    congratulations to whole Pakistan. waiting for his execution.Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 11:49PM

    @Hamza Khan: Iran is nobody’s friend… History is full of it and proves that they betray even their own … so no friend, this Iran is; Recommend

  • vinsin
    Apr 10, 2017 - 11:56PM

    @Abrar R:
    Reading a prompter is not confession. He never confessed independently on any outlet. In which terrorist activity or blast was he involved? Quetta commission reports doesnt support or match claims by military courts.Recommend

  • Shah
    Apr 10, 2017 - 11:58PM

    @Abrar R: ; His confession was ‘seen and heard’ live by many international diplomats sitting behind the glass wall outside the room this spy Yadav was sitting.. Also, in front of Magistrates, then again in front of Judge General; his confessions, names of accomplices, names of persons aiding and abetting his activities, including names & details of baluch traitors; Under no duress and under no threat he was a motor mouth and singing like a canary; There is lots more he told about Navy, installations, equipment and navy doctrine; Recommend

  • fits
    Apr 11, 2017 - 12:07AM

    All articles these days are in the mode of defiance and revolt against perceived slights. I think we need more humility, appreciation for others and inner confidence. Recommend

  • Mustafai
    Apr 11, 2017 - 12:17AM

    Kulbush should be executed as early as possible to set an example for other spies terrorists,,finally some justice seen.. a spy responsible for thousands of deaths in balochistan n karachi cannot be allowed to live for more timeRecommend

  • Ch. K. A. Nye
    Apr 11, 2017 - 1:02AM

    It’s so easy to call for a person’s death. Let’s see how many of us can actually go and witness it let alone actually trigger the hanging. Recommend

  • Aware Citizen
    Apr 11, 2017 - 1:19AM

    This fabricated drama to divert public attention from Panama scandal and other issues.There are many unsolved issues kept for using for political benefits.Establishment use it time to time. People just immediate react on it.People want education,health facilities,good governance not dirty politics.Recommend

  • Lakhkar Khan
    Apr 11, 2017 - 2:15AM


    Watch your spy’s confession video. Recommend

  • CarlShmel
    Apr 11, 2017 - 6:12AM

    Hope this sentence do not prove to be Another Nail in the Coffin of IWT as real possibility of this happening is high. Recommend

  • Asad
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:13AM

    For once please do listen to Ajmal Kasab’s video and research if the same accent is spoken in Pakistan. We have to accept that intelligence is a dirty game. The loss Pakistan has beared is much more than India but still India is sending her terrorists to Pakistan and thumping it’s chest? What kind of hypocrisy is this?. From Samjhota to Mumbai and Uri, India has be doing all this to achieve her objectives and we all know it but since you are an Indian your patriotism is not letting you accept it. Act like a sane person.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:14AM

    @veneet, you are defending a spy and a proven terrorist who has confess about his crime. He gave all the secret information cuz of which other traitors were caught. Why kill afzal guru whose case were not even prove in court but he was executed cuz people like it. Shame on you India.Recommend

  • Ahmed Ali khan
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:18AM

    @Monks, yadav should be hanged asap. Otherwise the talk of his release will linger his execution.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:25AM

    Now wait for Lt Col Habib’s confessionRecommend

  • MAS
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:33AM

    do understand that people who do wrong are never caught red handed……Recommend

  • Virkaul
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:39AM

    It is the first time any agency ever said that he was arrested from Mashkhel. There have been rumours that he was arrested from close to FATA and near Quetta. The fact is that he was abducted by Jaish al Adl in Saravan area of Iran and sold at high price to ISI as the latter could use him to show to the world that India directly interferes in Balochistan.

    It was only in December Sartaj Aziz publicly admitted not having enough evidence against Jadhav to complete a credible dossier.Recommend

  • Straight Talk
    Apr 11, 2017 - 9:40AM

    @Monis: In return you would get back the retired army officer who had gone missing few days ago in Lumbini, Nepal!Recommend

  • Prakash
    Apr 11, 2017 - 10:09AM

    If we sent him we should own him!! What is a naval officer doing getting caught in Baluchistan??why not in Bali or Maldives?Recommend

  • furqan
    Apr 11, 2017 - 10:45AM

    That’s the way to go, we (nation) are with you Pak army, you are the bestRecommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 11, 2017 - 10:22PM

    Mumbai Mayhem was also a RAW produced Drama, just to kill Hemant Kurkure, ACP Mumbai, who had blamed Lt. Col Promit to bomb Samjhota Express. Kurkure’s wife told after his death that RAW agents used to give him threats on phones to change the report but he did not, so he was killed, that is why she refused to accept the posthumous award to be to her Husband, saying she doesn’t want an award from the murderers of her husband.

    The faces of 9 so-called ‘terrorists’ were mutilated to the extent that they could not be recognized. And if they were Pakistanis why they were not handed over to Pakistan…? but they were not handed over to Pakistan because they were Indians who had been awarded life sentences for dozens of murderers and dacoities, hence, were killed by the Indian army commandos. Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 11, 2017 - 10:26PM

    Please don’t use the word Spy as Kulbushan Yadav was a Terrorist and not a Spy.Recommend

  • Hasan
    Apr 12, 2017 - 9:23AM

    High time Pakistan adopted ZTP (Zero Tolerance Policy) for India and its nonsense.Recommend

  • Tyggar
    Apr 12, 2017 - 12:19PM

    India has already adopted ZTP (Zero Tolerance for Pakistan)Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 14, 2017 - 4:51PM

    That is what India has done in the cases of burning of Smajhota Express and Mumbai Mayhem where the RAW agents killed their own man, DCP Kurkure who spoke the truth, holding Lt Col Promit, responsible for burning Samjhota Express but the poor chap had to die for speaking the truth.

    Kangaroo courts are in India, not in Pakistan. Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 14, 2017 - 4:59PM

    No, we have made military courts to try Terrorists whether they are Pakistanis, Afghans, Indian or of any country in the world. Quite a number of terrorists, Pakistanis who supported Afghan terrorists and have been hanged by military courts and now it’s the turn of an Indian whom our agencies have been looking for the last four years and now he will NOT be spared, rest assured.Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 14, 2017 - 5:14PM

    Well, Nepal is under India’s thumb, she can’t move an inch without India’s consent but did India not try to destabilize Sri Lanks by supporting terrorists and separatists for years…?. Because India wanted to teach Sri Lanks a lesson to support Pakistan during the Indian attack on E. Pakistan in 1971 and we can never forget it. So, we also supported Sri Lanka in controlling the Civil War and cleaned Sri Lanka of Indian terrorists.Recommend

  • Sajid Ansari
    Apr 14, 2017 - 5:29PM

    Confession to what…? RAW abducted him from Nepa, using British telecom Number, luring a good job. everything is very clear.
    We are going to take it up with Britain for allowing RAW to use their land for the abduction of a Pakistani and will also take it up with the govt. of Nepal. but India should forget exchanges, No way….!!! If any harm is provided to Col Habib then ISI knows how to take revenge and India should better be prepared for a tit-for-tat.Recommend

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